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25th November

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Our weekly lunch with friends was postponed to today because of book club yesterday. We chose a restaurant in the Gers by the Chateau in Saint Blancard, as it was within cycling distance, it was clear blue skies and sunshine when we set out, but as we neared the restaurant we were completely enveloped in mist, all very autumnal. The restaurant meal was disappointing, we were the only customers, Friday is not a good day to eat out, always fish, defrosted and bland, I think the restaurant had lain off the chef for the winter. But we were there for the company and also, as we were both Cathy’s, to celebrate Saint Catherine’s Day, which we did, with a bottle of good red wine. The mist lifted as we cycled home, I was amazed to see our elderly neighbour, 82, on his hands and knees clearing out the culvert running in front of his house, it was blocked with fallen leaves. I won’t do any leaf clearing until they have all fallen from the trees. We just need a couple of days of strong winds. I would love to be living in the barn now. The temperature beyond the salon door has dropped to 8 degrees, and it isn’t possible to spend the whole evening trying to keep warm by the wood burning stove, sitting on the sofa with a laptop. I have just tried to ring the builder, he is back with his sick father in Ariege, so there isn't much we can do to hasten his return.

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